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Frank Marshall vs Siegbert Tarrasch
17th DSB Congress, Hamburg (1910), Hamburg GER, rd 3, Jul-20
Italian Game: Scotch Gambit. Max Lange Attack Long Variation (C55)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-08-04  capanegra: This game represented an important improve for the Max Lange theory. Here Marshall introduced the move 15.♗h6! for the first time, which happens to be very strong, because it turns the white Pawns on the King side into a very dangerous weapon. However, 16…♗d6 wasn’t the best reply. Better is 16…♗e7, or even 16…♙d2, with a very complicated game in both lines.
Apr-09-04  Calli: Marshall and Capablanca played some training games to test out the variation. I guess Marshall knew he had something when Capa couldn't beat him. See

Apr-09-04  Lawrence: <capanegra>, Junior doesn't see that 16...Be7 can be better than 16...Bd6. It says that the latter and 16...Rd7 and 16...d2 all give equality whereas 16...Be7 17.Qf3 is +0.56 favourable to Whites. (10 min. search)
Apr-09-04  capanegra: <Calli> Interesting! I didn’t know that Capa and Marshall had tested this variation. However, the game with Tarrasch would still be the first experiment with 15.♗h6 because –according to the database- it was played in July 1910, while the games with JRC were played in October 1910.

<Lawrence> Looking at Calli’s games –and with the mighty Capablanca playing Black- it seems that you have a good point with the suspicious 16…♗e7. I had only taken for granted the continuation 17.♕f3 ♕d5 18.♕f7 (which happens to be the only draw out of the three games in the database). But 18.♕f4 seems to be quite stronger.

It is a pity that there are no more games in the database with this continuation. Nevertheless, the statistics seem to be conclusive: after 15.♗h6, 64% of the games are won by White, 29% are drawn, and Black wins 7% (one single game out of fourteen). So, is this signifying the end of the Max Lange attack?

Apr-09-04  Lawrence: <capanegra>, after 17.♕f3 ♕d5 Junior suggests 18.b3 ♘e5 eval +0.37 (45 min. search)
Apr-28-07  gambitfan: GTM 42
PAR 39
9 times
Oct-22-09  Max Lange: I like this game since usually Tarrasch is shown beating poor Marshall. Payback!
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Calli>Marshall and Capablanca played some training games to test out the variation.

Here is an interesting report from the "El Paso Herald", dated 8 April, 1911, which mentions that some more analysis had been done on the Max Lange Attack prior to this game:

"Shortly before the date of the tournament various chess players of renown had been exercising their critical faculties on the familiar Max Lange opening. Three distinguished foreign masters, after an exhaustive analysis, had evolved a defence which they contended completely broke up the attack. As a practical test of the analysis, a series of games at this opening was played in London between Blackburne, Gunsberg and other experts, and in each game the attack failed badly. The Max Lange had been proved an imposter, and was promptly relegated to the limbo of exploded fallacies. The Hamburg tournament arrived, and in the first round Marshall played the discredited Max Lange against Tarrasch, the master of research. As a suicidal proceeding this seemed on a par with bowling full pitches to Victor Trumper or leaving the red ball over the middle pocket for George Gray. But Marshall, who is a player of the Morphy school, knew what he was about. Initiative and audacity beat caution and research and Dr. Tarrasch lost the game."

Apr-10-14  Karpova: According to the 'ACB', shortly before departing for Europe, Marshall had examined the Scottish Gambit and especially the Max Lange Attack. He arrived at important insights during several sessions with experts from the city, especially with Captain <B. T. Walling>. Captain Walling, after travelling to St. Juan in Puerto Rico was, of cource, enlightened when he heard that Marshall had beat Tarrasch with this plan.

Source: 'Wiener Schachzeitung', October-November 1910, pp. 369-370

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Graham> See <Karpova>'s comments and mine ( 10th August 2004 ) on the Capablanca vs Marshall, 1925 game for a bit more background on Marshall's researches into this line.
Jul-25-17  sudoplatov: In tournament play, Marshall holds the edge of 6-5 (losing the first 4 decisive gains). Tarrasch won the match 8-1.
Jul-25-17  JimNorCal: As I recall, Ed Lasker's Chess Secrets has a story about this game. I think EL was playing in the minor tournament. He listened to Marshall's post mortem and resolved to play the same novelty. However, the opponent played a move that Marshall had said was better than Tarrasch's response. Lasker was kicking himself for not asking how to counter the better move. I don't recall how the game ended.
Jul-25-17  JimNorCal: Here's the Ed Lasker game.
Ed. Lasker vs Rotlewi, 1910
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Marshall vs Tarrasch, 1910 (kibitz #8)

From the "El Paso Herald", dated 8 April, 1911.

"The Max Lange had been proved an imposter, and was promptly relegated to the limbo of exploded fallacies."

They just don't write like that anymore. It inspired this.


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That report from El Paso is delicious.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

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